Jane Eaton Hamilton

"At the bottom of the box is hope." – Ellis Avery.

Tag: Lisa Moore

A Satisfying Literary Week

I was posting somewhere about novels I’ve recently admired and enjoyed and thought I should list them here:  The Enchanted, Rene Denfield; Alligator, Lisa Moore; Lullabies for Little Criminals, Heather O’Neill; The Flying Troutmans, Miriam Toews.  Reliable for literary pleasures.

I’ve been reading Ethan Canin and David Leavitt this week in short form, geniuses both, along with Tessa Hadley’s new New Yorker story which I quite liked.

RemarkableNude1a painting of mine from 2012 gratuitously added here for colour

I finished the (first draft) of an essay for a collection on women traveling alone, wrote a piece after Robin Williams’ suicide about my father’s suicide in 1973 (a piece I have wanted to write for 40 years), then this Monday wrote a short fiction called “Castaways” about two women struggling to keep their love whole on an island off the east coast of Africa, and another called “The Bleaching Houses” about a young girl growing up in a town in Connecticut during the ivory trade of the early 1900s.  At first I included a passage from Ulysses which fired my character’s imagination, only to remember somewhere along the way that Ulysses hadn’t been serialized yet in the Little Review, which meant that I had to either find an alternate passage that would work as well, or move the entire story to the 20s (not as booming a time for the ivory industry).  I did the latter, but that meant deleting the World’s Fair in St Louis in 1914.  I don’t know how historical writers like Emma Donoghue and Sarah Waters do this (well, of course they do it by researching ahead of time).

I love when I have no notion that I am about to write something, and then, hours/days later, there it is, a draft, a decent draft, a presence where there was not even, two days before, an absence.  My work is almost always gratifying to me these days, and in that, I am fortunate.

I also saw the cover of my new fall poetry book “Love Will Burst into a Thousand Shapes” as it went off to the printer, and got to see how all the blurbs had come together–the design of the thing.  Now I itch to hold it in my hands, but I will have to wait until October sometime.  Caitlin Press rocks my world.

Amy Bloom and Lisa Moore

Feel grateful to have heard two of the writers whose work I admire this weekend at the CCWWP at UBC this weekend (grateful they let in the hoi polloi).  I was especially delighted to hear Amy Bloom because she and I came up as writers together; it’s good to see her longevity in action; she’s a funny and pragmatic woman.  Lisa Moore and I bumped into each other at Blue Met, and she came to my awards ceremony there.  Last night she read from her new novel “Caught.”  I won’t easily forget her scene of a woman drowning; I loved how she balanced phantasmagoric word play with quieter prose.  Each author was in convo afterwards, Amy with Catherine Bush, and Lisa with Aislynn Hunter.

CBC Literary Awards

I was lucky to be flown to Montreal for the CBC Literary Awards/Blue Metropolis Lit Fest, a co-celebration with French winner Sarah Desrosiers.  Besides the award ceremony, I got to spend much of the weekend with my old friends Michael Hendricks and Rene LeBoeuf, with whom I was a co-litigant in Canada’s same-sex marriage case.  Also, I got to hear Shelagh Rogers interview one of my favourite novelists, Heather O’Neill, re: her (said to be glorious) new novel “The Girl Who Was Saturday Night.”  I spent a terrific night carousing with an old friend who happened to be in town with her mom, the redoubtable author Marguerite Andersen, and I met (and really hit it off with) the talented 2007 CBC winner Shelagh Plunkett, whose writing I hope soon to catch up on, and Lisa Moore (<3).  Christopher deRaddo launched his new novel “The Geography of Pluto.”  Luminato swirled past:  Richard Ford, Dany Laferriére etc.  Then a high school chum and I drove up through Charlevoix for a few days.

Thank you Shelagh Rogers and Aylin Malcolm for putting up with my nerves.

Here is an interview link for an interview conducted by Aylin Malcolm:

Interview

A reading link:

Reading


And here is a photograph of the big screen which had the winning stories spooling over it:

CBCAwards2014"Smiley"

%d bloggers like this: